The Subtle Knife (His Dark Materials, Book 2)
BlurbThe universe has broken wide, and Lyra's friend lies dead. Desperate for answers and set on revenge, Lyra bursts into a new world in pursuit of his killer. Instead, she finds Will, just twelve years old and already a murderer himself. He's on a quest as fierce as Lyra's, and together they strike out into this sunlit otherworld.
On this journey marked by danger, Will and Lyra forge ahead. But with every step and each new horror, they move closer to the greatest threat of all—and the shattering truth of their own destiny.
In this stunning sequel to The Golden Compas, Philip Pullman continues His Dark Materials trilogy and confirms it as an undoubted and enduring classic.
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OK prose, but terrible plotting and characters. So many of the ostensibly critical characters (in the world) are either deus ex machina for some specific threat the characters are facing, or blatant ego-stroking for the completely self centered mains. The story is written in third person, but from such a skewed perspective and rationale that it sometimes seems it's a mythical tale told after the fact by the mains about themselves. Besides this, some of the morality is just bizarre and inconsistent. The Church is self-evidently evil because they're subtly censoring scientific institutions (which is only demonstrated once in the whole series) and they sponsor a creepy, child-exploiting antagonist. Fair enough. But the main character sees the distant messiah (her father) kill her best friend for a remarkably similar "scientific" purpose, then he time travels and starts amassing a secret army, and she STILL sees him as a hero. WTF is going on in this story? The whole thing is riddled with motivated reasoning. "We're good, so the insane things we're doing are good." A truly disturbing book if the heroes were not written ironically. Every major event and decision screams #raisedbynarcissists.